Piper Alpha

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Piper Alpha was an oil production platform in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea, 120 miles north-east of Aberdeen, and operated by Occidental Petroleum. On July 6 1988 an explosion (probably brought about by inadequate safety procedures governing routine maintenance) led to a catastrophic fire and the complete destruction of the platform. 165 people on the platform and two rescue personnel were killed; just over 60 workers survived. It was the worst accident in the history of British oil and gas exploration and the subsequent public inquiry led to major changes in the offshore safety regime.

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